Google expands voice typing to new languages including U.S. emoji

Google announced today some additional languages that will be available for voice typing as part of the company’s speech recognition code that will cover more than a billion people around the globe. Even English speaking users in the U.S. will enjoy some of the fruits of Google’s labor as one of the “languages” will be the ability to use voice to search for an emoji. The thirty new languages that are being added by Google bring the total number of languages supported by Google’s speech recognition engine to 119.

Some of the languages included in the new update include Georgian, which Google describes as an “ancient language…which has an alphabet that dates back to the 10th century.” Two of the largest languages used on the African continent – Swahili and Amharic – are being added in this latest expansion. Google says they are also adding several Indian languages. The full list includes the following languages:

  • Amharic (Ethiopia)
  • Armenian (Armenia)
  • Azerbaijani (Azerbaijani)
  • Bengali (Bangladesh, India)
  • English (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania)
  • Georgian (Georgia)
  • Gujarati (India)
  • Javanese (Indonesia)
  • Kannada (India)
  • Khmer (Cambodian)
  • Lao (Laos)
  • Latvian (Latvia)
  • Malayalam (India)
  • Marathi (India)
  • Nepali (Nepal)
  • Sinhala (Sri Lanka)
  • Sundanese (Indonesia)
  • Swahili (Tanzania, Kenya)
  • Tamil (India, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Malaysia)
  • Telugu (India)
  • Urdu (Pakistan, India)

Google says work on the development of these languages included time spent with native speakers to collect samples and have them read common phrases in order to train the machine learning models. This helps establish a base and improves accuracy.

The easiest way to get access to the new languages is through use of the Gboard keyboard app on Android devices. However, the code for these new languages is also included in the Cloud Speech API so developers can access them. Google also says the new languages will be rolling out to other Google apps, including Translate.

Along with these new languages, Google says U.S. based English speakers will have a new way to search for emojis just by speaking what they are looking for. Searching by voice input will join typing and drawing as a way to start a search. Google says this functionality will expand to additional languages and locales in the future.

source: Google


About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, and an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his wife and kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active in his church, a local MINI Cooper car club, and his daughter's soccer club. Jeff is married, has three kids, and a golden retriever.